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. again, on this sunday. mike, thanks. >>> south carolina senator lindsey graham is leading the charge to label the boston marathon suspect an enemy combatant. he explained why on cnn this morning. take a listen. >> when the public safety exception expires and it will soon this man, in my view, should be designated as a potential enemy combatant and we should be allowed to question him for intelligence gathering purposes to find out about future attacks and terrorist organizations that may exist that he has knowledge of and that evidence cannot be used against him in trial. >> the american civil liberties union, aclu, opposes this, "we must not waiver from our tried and true justice system, even in the most difficult of times. denial of rights is un-american and will only make it harder to obtain a fair conviction." how will this play out politically? with me, stephen smith of "the boston globe," dave weigel and lynn sweet of the chicago sun-times. good to see you all on this sunday. lynn, let me start with you here at least. four our republican senators joined in lindsey graham's call
an enemy combatant are those republicans, among them john mccain and lindsey graham. but there's others, they say basically he should be treated as an enemy combatant for now and then handed over to civilian authorities. the information we're learning about his inability to communicate right now throws a wrench into a lot of that. but on the other side, we heard today from the chairman of the intelligence committee of the house, mike rogers, and here is his perspective on why he should not be treated like an enemy combatant. >> he's a citizen of the united states. i think that brings all of the protections of the u.s. constitution. under the public safety exception, however, i do believe that the fbi has a period of time to try to determine what threats are there today. we don't know if there's other devices. we don't know if there's other people. i think mirandizing him up front would be a horrible idea. >> so there are really a series of questions there. first, should he be treated as a criminal -- excuse me, as a -- i want to make sure i get it right, as an enemy combatant. that ques
senator lindsey graham, specifically from senator john mccain for the suspect to be treated as an enemy combatant. how is legal action at this point most likely to move forward? >> reporter: well, the obama administration would never go for that, partly as a policy matter. they have made it quite clear that civilian courts are up to the task and they think in many ways better than military tribunals which are untested. civilian courts have convicted lots of terrorism defendants. it will be a federal case. they'll charge him withes with use of a weapons of mass destruction. the maximum penalty is the death penalty. the government will have to decide whether to seek that or not. there's an additional wrinkle here. he is an american citizen. he was a naturalized citizen last year oddly on 9/11 of last year, and there is an open legal question about whether even if the government wanted to, it could declare an american citizen captured on u.s. soil as an enemy combatant. it's an untested question. the government tried to do it in the case of jose padilla several years ago and as that case w
got in terms of a note that was handed to me talking about a few senators, lindsey graham, john mccain, kelly ayotte, congressman peter king, all of whom have said this suspect based on his actions clearly is a good candidate for enemy combatant status. we do not want this suspect to remain silent. talk about that in terms of what prosecutors are doing right now. is that the path down which prosecutors and any investigators are going right now? >> well, it's unclear whether or not they're going down that path to identify and designate him as an enemy combatant but they should at least go down the path to determine whether or not that is the designation they should make for this particular person. then they should do it based on our national security, national interest to determine whether or not identifying him as an enemy combatant will actually enhance our national security and national interest. >> what about the charges? what do you expect them to be against dzhokhar. >> well, if he's not designated as an enemy combat eant he wille charged federally. the first decision has to b
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